Used by members of the U.S. Army's 120th Engineer Combat Battalion (headquartered in Okmulgee, Oklahoma) to make items for their Al Taqaddum Inter-Tribal Powwow, September 17-18, 2004, in Al Taqaddum, Iraq. Donated to NMAI by Battalion members and their chaplain, Sergeant Debra K. Mooney (Oklahoma Choctaw), in 2005.
"Brick Kilns," Clay Bluffs 1900 Miles above St. Louis
George Catlin, born Wilkes-Barre, PA 1796-died Jersey City, NJ 1872
oil on canvas
11 1/8 x 14 1/4 in. (28.3 x 36.3 cm)
Figure(s) in exterior\frontier
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
By the action of water, or other power, the country seems to have been graded away; leaving occasionally a solitary mound or bluff, rising in a conical form to the height of two or three hundred feet, generally pointed or rounded at the top, and in some places grouped together in great numbers . . . the sides of these conical bluffs (which are composed of strata of different coloured clays), are continually washing down by the effect of the rains and melting of the frost; and the superincumbent masses of pumice and basalt are crumbling off, and falling down to their bases . . . The strata of clay are alternating from red to yellow-white-brown and dark blue; and so curiously arranged, as to form the most pleasing and singular effects.” George Catlin painted this work in 1832 on his first extended voyage up the Missouri River. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 10, 1841; reprint 1973)
“To this group of clay bluffs, which line the river for many miles in distance, the voyageurs have very appropriately given the name of ‘the Brick-kilns;’ owing to their red appearance, which may be discovered in a clear day at the distance of many leagues . . .
William Frederick Cody: Natural Resources\Pioneer\Frontiersman
William Frederick Cody: Military and Intelligence\Scout
William Frederick Cody: Performing Arts\Performer\Showman
William Frederick Cody: Natural Resources\Hunter
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
To a great promoter like Colonel William F. Cody, the semireligious phrase "I Am Coming" required larger letters on this poster than the identification of the face that everyone would already recognize. Cody, originally a frontier scout, Indian fighter, and buffalo hunter, had become famous as the hero of "Buffalo Bill" dime novels and magazine stories. In 1882 he created his popular wild west show and toured as its star for thirty years, arguably doing more than any single American to popularize the myth of the West. Combining sharpshooting, riding, and roping with historical reenactments of war dances, buffalo hunts, stagecoach attacks, and "Custer's Last Fight," Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show had enormous international appeal. In fact, this copy of the poster, bearing a French tax stamp (top right), is a testament to his extremely successful tours in France.
Medicine Lodge effigy model. Long bunch of plant fibers wrapped with cloth strips and scrap of buffalo hide to which are tied a bunch of eagle feathers and five squares of printed cotton cloth. 25" (63 cm). An additional piece of plant materials and printed cloth, formerly assigned the temporary number T-11012, has been determined to be a part of this specimen. Records: The "Buffalo Head" of the Kiowa Sun Dance is a strip of hide cut from along the back of the buffalo from nose to tail, wrapped around a bundle of leafy willow rods decorated with feathers and streamers. It was fastened at the fork of the center pole of the Medicine Lodge. Collected in 1902. (A, C). (from Merrill, William L. et al. 1997. A Guide to the Kiowa Collections at the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, no. 40. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.)